National Swimmers show improvement during 34th CARIFTA Aquatics Championships

Team Antigua and Barbuda. (L-R) Tivon Benjamin, Lleyton Martin, Angelique Gittens, Diallo Marshall, Hailey Derrick, Head Coach Terrell Bruno, and Olivia Fuller.

The six swimmers representing Antigua and Barbuda at the recently held 34th CARIFTA Aquatics Championships returned home to applause by the swimming fraternity for their performances.

The long-course event, held at Barbados Aquatic Centre over the Easter weekend is one of the more competitive events in the region.  It hosted over 300 swimmers in ages from 11 to 17, and saw representation from 23 territories including Jamaica, Trinidad, Bermuda, the US Virgin Islands and the French and Dutch territories.   It is an approved qualifier for the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 (Gwangju, Korea), and the Pan American Games 2019 (Lima, Peru).

Antigua and Barbuda’s Team, comprising of Tivon Benjamin, Hailey Derrick, Olivia Fuller, Angelique Gittens, Diallo Marshall, and Lleyton Martin continued to show great improvement over a number of disciplines, and according to Head Coach Terrell Bruno, demonstrated that swimming is in in a good place and on a good track for future podium success. “I would like to commend Tivon, Hailey, Olivia, Angelique, Diallo and Lleyton for working hard, maintaining their focus and delivering great results.  I was impressed to see that all the swimmers delivered improvements to a number of their personal bests and they all rose to the competition,” he said.

Among the great performances was a new national age-group record for the Boy 15 – 16 long course 100 metre butterfly, set by Lleyton Martin with a time of 57:64, and the attainment of qualifying times for the upcoming CCCAN Swim Championships to be held in Barbados, June 28th to July 2nd by Hailey Derrick and Olivia Fuller.

President of Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF), complimented the team saying, “Antiuga and Barubda’s swimmers did the nation proud.  It was a joy to be able to see them compete in Barbados against the region’s best.  Although we had one of the smallest teams at the event, we reached the finals in 9 events and demonstrated to the region that swimming continues to be on the rise in Antigua and Barbuda.  On behalf of the ABSF executive and the entire swimming fraternity, I would like to commend the swimmers for their performances and urge them to keep their focus, determination and competitive spirit.  The future looks bright!”

Team Manager, Dr. Cleopatra Gittens, added her praise to the swimmers.  “The entire team was focused on what they came to do, and they delivered.  We had a good meet and I would like to commend all of the team members for their professionalism.  Although young, they demonstrated a level of maturity and professionalism that belied their ages.”

Local swimming action continues on May 4th with the Wadadli Aquatic Racers (WAR) 10th Invitational Mid-Distance Swim Meet.  Team Antigua and Barbuda will again travel to Barbados for the CCCAN 31st Swimming Championships slated for June 28rd to July 2nd, 2019.

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